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Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The Heart of Hyacinth, an electronic edition

by Onoto Watanna [Watanna, Onoto, 1879-1954]

date: 1903
source publisher: Harper & Brothers
collection: Genre Fiction

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As the irate Yoshida vanished through the doors, Hyacinth clapped her hands with a childish gesture of delight. She looked at Koma, now regarding her gravely, then, with a dimpling smile, she sat down on the mats among the despised gifts. These she tossed about gayly.

"He has gone away," she said, "mad as three devils of Osaka, but what matter? He has left the gifts! Such a silly lover, such a foolish one!"

She began to collect the gifts, folding the obi and the rich kimono.

"You are not going to keep them?" said Koma, standing over her and looking down at her gravely.

"Not going to keep them? Why, the lover refused to accept their return."

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"Yes, but you don't want them."

"But I do," she protested, patting the folded obi lovingly.

"Why, you told him you did not."

"Oh," she said, airily. "That's just foolish pride. I was just talking--through my head."

She laughed mischievously.

"That's liddle slang I learned at mission-house," she said.

"I want you to send those presents back to this Yamashiro."

"Send all those lovely presents back?"

She shook her head.

"Could not do it," she said. "Too great sacrifice."

"I will buy you all the things you want."

She stared up at him amazedly.


"Yes," he replied, flushing, "I--why not?"

"Well, but"--she regarded him doubtfully--"you are not rich like Yamashiro Yoshida."

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"How do you know?" he asked, quietly.

She regarded him dubiously.

"When I get those presents from you," she said, "then I will return these. That right?"

He pulled the box over to the centre of the floor, and thrust the gifts into it, snapping the lid down tightly. Then, going to the door, he called for Mumè to take the box at once to the Yamashiros.

Having disposed of this question, he turned his attention again to Hyacinth.

She was sitting in the centre of the room, her chin on her hand, pensively regarding him.

"How," she said, "are you going to make me those gifts if I am to go away to that West country, and you will not go with me?"

"You are going to stay here," he said; and she knew from the expression in his eyes and the tone of his voice that he meant what he said.

"But what of my august parent?"

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"Will you follow my advice exactly?" She nodded in assent.

"When he comes you are to make a request of him."


"Ask him--beg him even--to permit you to remain one month in Sendai with us. Then tell him that after that you will go wherever your rightful guardian shall direct."

"He will not consent," she said, depression seizing upon her--"these august barbarians are hard as rock. They never move--no, never."

"Who told you that?"

"Nobody," she said, "but I observe."

"Where did you observe it?" he persisted.

She looked at him sideways a moment without replying. Then she dimpled and smiled.

"In the mission-house people and in--you, Koma," she said.

"Promise me that you will make the request?"

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"Very well, I will make that foolish promise. But"--she thrust out a little red underlip in a bewitching pout--"one month will soon come to an end, and after that?"

"After that you will leave the rest to me," he said.

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